Saturday, May 5, 2018

Satish Muthalli recently received the National award from the Lalith Kala Academy for his work that featured a rural still life that featured agricultural implements. This work instantly identifies with his agricultural background as a farmer and an artist who is close to nature and concerned about all creatures. The preoccupation of Satish is very specific, he has been focusing on two concerns in his work with rural objects that represent the labor of farmers, who have been neglected by the government and have been burdened by loans, and incidents of farmer suicides in the country is alarming and the inconsistent rains have always affected their lives. The artist represents this predicament and also focuses on his identity as a farmer.
In another set of works, Sathish Muthalli is concerned about animals and the impact of humans on their existence. In reality, we have caged and confined them to restricted zones like safaris and nature parks. They no longer roam the earth freely.
Humans have used and abused their intellect as superior beings on this planet and have constantly interfered with nature. As the philosopher, Rene Descartes wrote in the late 1600s: "animals are mere machines but the man stands alone”. Charles Darwin was one of the first to speak out against this idea. In the Descent of Man, - "There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties" and that all the differences are "of degree, not of kind".
The key is presenting the subjects with dignity, contrary to the graphically shocking approach activist groups often take. The artist juxtaposed man and animals in ironical situations that question our reality as humans and our violence against the animal kingdom.















We once viewed ourselves as the only creatures with emotions, morality, and culture. But the more we investigate the animal kingdom, the more we discover that is simply not true. Many scientists are now convinced that all these traits, once considered the hallmarks of humanity, are also found in animals. If they are right, our species is not as unique as we like to think. We are part of this ecosystem and need to envision an ethical way of life.